08 April 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

This study explores which youth are more likely to have parties at home, what factors are associated with the presence of alcohol at parties, and who supplies the alcohol. We collected data in 2011 and 2012 through telephone interviews with 1,121 teens living in 50 mid-sized California cities. Overall, about a quarter of teens reported having had a party at their house in the past 12 months, of whom 39 % reported that there was alcohol at their last party. Multiple sources supplied alcohol for most parties. Seventy-two percent of those having a party stated that at least one of their parents knew about their last party, and 64 % reported that a parent was home at least part of the time. Seventy percent of youth who hosted a party with alcohol said that their parent(s) definitely knew that there was alcohol at the party, 24 % replied that their parent(s) probably knew, and only 5 % said that their parent(s) did not know that there was alcohol at the party. Logistic regression analyses indicated that youth with parents who host parties at home are themselves more likely to host parties at home. Having alcohol at a party was positively related to the age of the teen and the number of guests attending, and was negatively related to parents' awareness of the party. However, we found no relationship between whether a parent was at home at the time of the party and whether it included alcohol. These findings suggest that teens who have parties with alcohol at home have parents who know that there is alcohol at the party, even though only a small number of parents provided alcohol for the party.

26 March 2015 In Cancer

The link between alcohol consumption and cancer is well established, but public awareness of the risk remains low. Mandated warning labels have been suggested as a way of ensuring "informed choice" about alcohol consumption. In this article we explore various ethical issues that may arise in connection with cancer warning labels on alcoholic beverages; in particular we highlight the potentially questionable autonomy of alcohol consumption decisions (either with or without labels) and consider the implications if the autonomy of drinking behavior is substantially compromised. Our discussion demonstrates the need for the various ethical issues to be considered and addressed in any decision to mandate cancer warning labels.

04 December 2014 In Phenolic compounds

ISSUES: It is well established that alcohol can cross the placenta to the fetus and can affect both physical and psychological development of the infant; however, many women continue to drink during pregnancy. It is therefore important to determine whether interventions can be successful in reducing alcohol consumption among pregnant women. Past reviews have investigated the effectiveness of clinical interventions in reducing alcohol consumption in pregnancy; however, the aim of the current review was to focus on the effectiveness of public health interventions.

APPROACH: A critical literature review was conducted by searching several electronic databases using key words such as 'pregnancy', 'alcohol', 'interventions' and 'public health'. Studies were included if they utilised a public health intervention and included alcohol consumption or levels of knowledge as an outcome measure.

KEY FINDINGS: Seven studies were included in the review. Interventions included multimedia and educational interventions. Improvements in knowledge were reported in six studies, whereas one study found contradictory results. Four studies used alcohol consumption rates as an outcome measure, and although a reduction in consumption was reported, the results were non-significant.

IMPLICATIONS: The effectiveness of public health interventions that aim to increase awareness and reduce alcohol consumption among pregnant women cannot be assessed because of the paucity of studies.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this critical review emphasise a lack of evidence and highlight the need for further evaluation research on this topic.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Despite a downward trend in alcohol consumption among 11-15-year-olds in recent years (Fuller, E, ed. 2013. Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England in 2012. London: Health and Social Care Information Centre. http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB11334 ), the proportion of young people seeking support from alcohol-related specialist services, and the societal and monetary costs associated with alcohol consumption, need to be addressed. Education can play an important role in this. The evaluation of the Alcohol Education Trust's Talk About Alcohol school-based intervention was conducted across England between November 2011 and October 2013 by independent evaluators. The aim was to compare the alcohol-related knowledge, awareness, and behaviour of students aged 12-14 in an intervention group with a statistically matched comparison group. Three identical surveys were carried out with approximately 4000 students to explore change over time over a 16-18-month timeframe. Multilevel modelling looked at changes in outcomes over the three time points and control for measured differences between intervention and comparison groups. There was evidence of a statistically significant delay in the age at which teenagers start to drink. There was also a significant association between the intervention and knowledge of alcohol and its effects. Although levels of frequency of drinking and binge drinking were lower than in the comparison schools, there were no statistically significant differences. Students from both groups identified personal, social, and health education lessons as a preferred source of information about alcohol and its effects. The positive impact on alcohol knowledge and the delayed onset of drinking show that the materials may support England's policy priorities around alcohol.

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